IF Comp 2017: Hexteria Skaxis Qiameth

Hexteria Skaxis Qiameth is a short Twine piece by Gabriel Floriano that explores fictional linguistics. Spoilers beneath the cover image.

Having encountered a linguistic mystery in a fictional language that intrigues them, the protagonist dives down a rabbit-hole of more mystery. What they discover is up to the reader to interpret.

The piece reminds me of If on a Winter’s Night A Traveller (it feels descended from Borges, also, but I am more solid in my Calvino reading). The player is given the ability to manipulate the languages and words to create cryptic sentences, which unfurl further to illuminate (or not) the sentences in question.

As an exploration of fantastical language, it’s curious and interesting, but I found myself wanting more. I’d have been excited to see more about the fictional cultures, their histories and societies, to give the piece more richness. As it is, I found it a clever piece relevant to my interest, but one that didn’t leave much of a mark. I’d love More Of This In My IF, Please, with extra depth and bite.

I think I also need to reread If On A Winter’s Night, because I’m having a serious hankering for it.